When a family has to deal with the death of a loved one, it places a lot of emotional stress on them. If that loved one is also the breadwinner or important monetary contributor to a family, the added financial strain makes it even more difficult to grieve and deal with your emotions in a healthy manner. One financial recourse that is possibly available to the family members left behind is the UIF Dependant’s Benefits which allows dependants of UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund) contributors to claim.
The Department of Labour states that the “Unemployment Insurance Act and Unemployment Insurance Contribution Act apply to all employees and workers, but not to:
- workers working less than 24 hours a month for an employer
- public servants
- foreigners working on contract
- workers who get a monthly State (old age) pension or
- workers who only earn commission.”
The UIF that is payable amounts to 2% of the value of each worker’s pay per month – 1% is contributed by the employer and 1% by the employee.
When a worker becomes unemployed or is unable to work due to maternity, adoption, parental leave, or illness, UIF provides short-term relief to these workers if they contributed while working and are not exempt as stated above.
How can dependants of a deceased worker receive UIF?
UIF is available to the dependants of a deceased worker if you are a:
- life partner
- child of the deceased under the age of 21.
There are some exclusions, though. The dependants cannot only claim if the worker received benefits from the Compensation Fund or an unemployment fund as defined in the Labour Relations Act or if the worker was suspended from claiming because of fraud. Children can only claim if there is no spouse of life partner or if the spouse or life partner does not claim within 18 months of the worker’s death. The benefit is payable to a dependant for a maximum of 238 days and is based on the income the breadwinner was earning before he/she died.
How to claim…
A dependant must claim within 18 months of the worker’s death, and you will need to hand in various documents along with the application form. These are:
- Your Identity Document
- Copies of the deceased’s last six payslips
- The employer’s details on form UI19
- A certified copy of the death certificate
- For the spouse: a certified copy of your marriage certificate
- For the partner: lobola letter or an affidavit in case of life partners
- For the children: proof of guardianship (if applicable), a letter confirming the minor is still in school, birth certificate
- Proof of your banking details
When will the money be paid out?
According to the South African Labour Guide, the payments should start within 8 weeks of registering. Money is then paid out every 4 weeks until the benefit is used up. If you do not receive a payment in that time, you should contact the Labour Centre and ask them to investigate the delay. There is, however, anecdotal evidence that payments have taken much longer than the 9 months. The money paid out is not taxable, but if the UIF overpays an individual, you will be expected to refund that money.
Dealing with legalities and Governmental Departments is not what we want to do while we grieve the loss of a loved one. Sometimes, though, the financial difficulty we are placed in when the breadwinner passes away leaves us with no other option. Luckily, we do have options available to use, one of them being the UIF.
AED Attorneys understands that every situation is unique, and although they strive to ensure that the information contained herein is accurate at the time of publishing, it cannot be guaranteed to be without errors or omissions. As a result, AED Attorneys, its employees, independent contractors, associates or third parties will under no circumstances accept liability or be held liable for any innocent or negligent actions or omissions in this article, which may result in any harm or liability flowing from the use of or the inability to use the information provided.